Thursday, January 1, 2009
The Road to Mendocino
The first day of the New Year - and the first day of my adventure - I have been looking forward to this day for so long! I got up and put all my "must have" things in the car and waved "so long" to my daughter as I set out in the wintry morning in Truckee - the snow glistening, and the sky blue with some floating white clouds signaling that another snow storm was on it's way. I was excited about getting to Mendocino to start my Artist in Residence Program, and decided to take the unknown back roads instead of following along the freeway, which I had already driven so often to get to and from Pacific Grove to Truckee. I turned of the I 80 onto Hwy 20 and drove through snow covered mountains to Grass Valley and on through Marysville, Yuba City, crossing the Feather River, eventually getting down into the Sacramento Valley, leaving evergreens, snow and blue skies behind. Down in the valley I saw lots of waterfowls and big flocks of swans, snow geese and many other birds I could not identify from the car. I would have loved to have stopped to do some bird watching, but I wanted to get to Mendocino before dark, so I kept going west, passing by Clear Lake, enjoying the beautiful scenery, and reminiscing about past camping trips there with early morning kayaking on the lake. I am bringing my kayak with me to Mendocino, so I look forward to paddling and exploring new territory as well as rediscovering familiar waters. For me kayaking and painting have always gone hand in hand - kayaking helps me get inspired to paint and brings me that sense of peace and appreciation of nature that gets my creative juices flowing.
I pass by Willits - gateway to the Redwoods - and after about a hours drive through the redwood forests I get to the coast by Fort Braggs and soon I reach the end of my road for today - Mendocino and the Art Center.